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  Introduction to Indian Vedic astrology  

Indian astrology is popularly referred to as Vedic astrology. This is not because it is there in the Vedas. There is no mention of astrology in the Vedas. However, it is one of the Vedangas, i.e., limb or branch of Vedas, and dates back to the Vedic period. Several of the Poojas and remedial measures prescribed in the Indian astrology are as per the Vedic system. Hence, it is called Vedic astrology.

The Vedangas are six in number. They are: Siksha or phonetics, Kalpa or ritual, Vyakarana or grammar, Nirukta or etymology, Chhandas or metrics and Jyotishya or astronomy and astrology. These are mentioned in the Upanishads.

It is impossible ascertain the exact time of origin of our astrology. Even the most famous historians differ wildly, from 1200 BC to 2500 BC while trying to fix our Vedic period. A lot of them, especially the westerners, still study India based on the Mahenjadaro and Harappan discoveries, which were discovered in the 1920s!! Several archeological discoveries of recent times date our culture to 7500 BC, making it the ancient most civilization in the world. Our astrology has details of the horoscopes of Lord Krishna, Lord Rama and many other ancient Indian kings and queens, recorded thousands of years ago. The Bhishma Parva and Udyoga Parva chapters of Mahabharata mention many astrological descriptions and omens just before the Mahabharata war. It also describes a period of draught with several planetary combinations. There is also a very clear reference about two eclipses, a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse occurring, creating a rare 13 day lunar fortnight. Available scientific research data shows that the Mahabharata war must have occurred either in 3129 BC or 2559 BC. According to the Hindu Panchangas, maintained from ages, Kaliyuga era is counted from February 17/18 midnight 3102 BC. Hindu epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana have been written off as myths by the western historians. However the recent discovery of the submerged ancient city Dwaraka, (the site of the legendary city of Lord Krishna, which got submerged in the sea after the death of Lord Krishna), led by Dr. S.R. Rao of the Marine Archaeology Unit of the National Institute of Oceanography of India lends a lot of credence to our mythology. Various texts attribute the origin of Indian astrology to various gods and Rishis. It is futile to ascertain who was the originator. The most popularly followed astrological classics today are the ones written by Rishis like Parashara, Varahamihira, Garga, Jaimini and their followers. People in those days had no satellites or telescopes and yet the planetary positions and their motions recorded by them are as accurate as the planetary positions and degrees recorded today using the space satellites. Our ancient astrologers used their divine intuition to record these planetary movements and their effects on us.

Astrology has a twofold purpose. On one hand it is used as a tool to select the right month the right date and the right time to start various auspicious rites and rituals so that the results are better. On the other hand it is used as a guide to study the destiny of an individual.

Indian astrology is based on the theory of fate. The good and the bad actions of the past life determine your fate or Karma of your present life, and the actions of your present life determine your future Karma. According to Indian astrology a person is born at that place, on that day and on that moment when his individual fate is in perfect mathematical harmony with the progress of the stars in heaven. However it does not preach total dependence on fate. Astrology lets you know what you were born with, what your possibilities are, the limitations, your strong points and your drawbacks. What type of life partners and professions suit you and to expect is also indicated. It also prescribes various remedial measures to ward off the bad effects and to enhance the good results. Astrology is your roadmap of destiny. However your fate is in your hands. The scriptures guide us by telling us what is good and what is bad; what to do and what not to do; how to do and how not to do. You are given a piece of land and the seeds to sow. How much effort to put in to it, what amount of manure and water to add and when how to reap the produce is your job. After that it is you who have to act using your knowledge intelligence, discrimination and experience. Fate is like a game of cards where you cannot help the cards that have been dealt to you but how to play them is in your hands. You may get good cards but if you play badly you will lose and you may get bad cards and still may win if you play carefully. Dont blame the roadmap if you get drunk, drive badly and have an accident! In the Mahabharata Lord Krishna gave advise to Arjuna and also to Duryodhana. One listened and the other did not!

In the Egyptian, Greek, western and Chinese systems of astrology only the birth chart is cast to give predictions. This is hopelessly inaccurate and insufficient. For example, moon, the fastest moving of the nine planets, remains in one sign fro two and half days. The ascendant, or Lagna, extends for a period of two hours. In these two hours, according to the present birth rate, several thousand people are born in the world with the same birth chart! All of them cannot have the same destiny. Hence their predictions based on this and the monthly transits tends to be inaccurate. They are somewhat accurate about the nature of signs etc., but when it comes to predicting the events in ones life and their timing they are nowhere. You dont really need an astrologer to tell you that, for example if you are Scorpio sign, you tend to be jealous and possessive! Vedic astrology has a four dimensional approach.

Firstly, we have the divisional chart system, called the Varga system. Based on the planetary degrees at the time of birth, sixteen divisional charts are prepared, by dividing the degrees of the planets. These divisional charts are studied to ascertain the strength and weakness of planets and houses and also to study various aspects of ones life. For example, one-ninth division called Navamsa to study spouse and married life, one-tenth division to study profession, one-seventh for children and so on. The last Varga, called Shodashamsa, is prepared by dividing the planets degrees in to one-sixtieth part! Second is the dasa system. Based on ones moons degrees at birth, we calculate the Dasas, or the ruling periods of various planets, which keeps changing during ones life. It is not just one planets dasa but Maha dasa, or main dasa, of a planet, Antardasa, or sub period, of another planet and so on till we arrive at a fifth level dasa to study each day.

Third is the Gochara, or transit of planets. Planets transiting various houses produce various results. But a planet transits a sign for quite some time. For example Saturn transits a sign for two and half years. During this entire period its results cannot be totally good or bad. Vedic astrology further pinpoints its good and bad periods even during its transit in one sign. We have the Asthakavarga and Prastharasthakavarga system, which divides a planets transit in a sign into eight parts and shows which part is good and which part is bad.

Lastly, there is the Prasna Kundali system, or chart cast based on the time of the query. This is studied as an add-on chart to give predictions.
The modern scientists do not accept astrology. But it is a known fact that planets do have their effects on us. The doctors of almost all mental asylums accept the fact that during the full moon and the new Moon periods the mental patients behave erratically. The police record the same effects on many criminals. The modern scientists know some of the effects of the ultraviolet rays, gamma rays and beta rays of the planets. But unfortunately they dont have the divine wisdom of our ancient is to know all the effects fully.

  10 Preliminary Lessons to understand the basics  
  Lesson 1: The purpose & the division of the Zodiac  
  The Division of the zodiac The purpose & the division of the Zodiac, The 12 Rasis (Zodiac signs) and their rulers, Kendras & Konas, The 9 Grahas or Planets and what they signify.  

The ancient Hindu way of life, based on the Karma theory, looked at the progress of the human soul based on three essential macroscopic parameters. They are: The Karma acquired from your past life, the karma you acquire by virtue of your actions in your present life and based on these your future life. They classified our present life into four broad aspects. Dharma or right living, Artha or the monetary aspect, Kama or the desires and finally Moksha or spiritual progress and liberation. They recognized the importance of balancing these four aspects of life for the proper progress. To understand and improve all these four aspects they gave us various Shastras. The Veda shastras for spiritual progress, the Dharma and Nyaya shastras for the legal and social conduct, the Artha ( finance), Ganita (mathematics), Vanijya (trade) shastras for earning money, Sangeeta (music) Nritya (dance) Shilpa (art) Kama (sex) Paka (cooking) shastras for pleasure. Finally the Jyotishya ( Jyoti=light+ Isha=God meaning the light of God to remove ignorance) was given to us as a guide, to get the best results during the most suitable times, in each of the above four areas of life. The entire basis and theology of our astrology is based on these principles.

The Division of the Zodiac:

From the astrological point of view, for the purpose of charting the planetary positions and calculations etc, the 360 degrees of the zodiac was divided into 12 equal parts, called Rasi or sign, of 30 degrees each. This is the 1st basic division. In the Vedic astrology there are 9 Grahas or planets which influence our lives. Out of these seven - the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn - are actual heavenly bodies. The other two - Rahu and Ketu - are shadowy planets whose positions are calculated mathematically. Vedic astrology ignores Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto.
These 9 planets own certain rasis, represent several things in our life, have several inherent qualities and influence certain facets of our life. It all depends on how these planets are placed and in which rasis they are placed. Let us understand these basics first.

The names of the 12 Rasis (Zodiac signs) in their natural order and their rulers:

1. Aries or Mesha is ruled by Mars.It extends from 00:00 degrees to 30:00' in the zodiac.
2. Taurus or Vrishabha is ruled by Venus. It extends from 30:00 degrees to 60:00'
3. Gemini or Mithuna is ruled by Mercury. It extends from 60:00 degrees to 90:00'
4. Cancer or Karka is ruled by the Moon. It extends from 90:00 degrees to 120:00'
5. Leo or Simha is ruled by the Sun. It extends from 120:00 degrees to 150:00'
6. Virgo or Kanya is ruled by Mercury. It extends from 150:00 degrees to 180:00'
7. Libra or Tula is ruled by Venus. It extends from 180:00 degrees to 210:00'
8. Scorpio or Vrischika is ruled by Mars. It extends from 210:00 degrees to 240:00'
9. Sagittarius or Dhanu is ruled by Jupiter. It extends from 240:00 degrees to 270:00'
10. Capricorn or Makara is ruled by Saturn. It extends from 270:00 degrees to 300:00'
11. Aquarius or Kumbha is ruled by Saturn. It extends from 300:00 degrees to 330:00'
12. Pisces or Meena is ruled by Jupiter. It extends from 330:00 degrees to 360:00'

So it is clear that the sun and the moon own one house each and all the other 5 planets own 2 houses each. Rahu and Ketu do not own any houses.

The rasis are further divided into several categories. The categories are:
The Trikona or Triangular groups.

The 1st triangle formed by Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are Agni-Tatwa or Fire signs. They are active, aggressive, adventurous and dominating by nature and are good leaders and administrators. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Dharma aspect predominant.

The 2nd triangle formed by Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are Bhu-Tatwa or Earth signs. They are down to earth, practical and careful by nature and have a good sense of money. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Artha aspect predominant.

The 3rd triangle formed by Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are Vayu-Tatwa or Air signs. They are intelligent, carefree, jovial and social by nature and enjoy life more than the other signs. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Kama aspect predominant.

The 4th triangle formed by Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are Jala-Tatwa or Water signs. They are emotional, sensitive, romantic, artistic, nature loving and spiritual by nature. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Moksha aspect predominant.

2. The Kendra or Quadrangular groups

Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn forming the 1st quadrangle are Chara or Movable rasis. They are active by nature, like change and direct in their approach. Normally people with chara rasis dominating in the birth chart travel a lot.

Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius forming the 2nd quadrangle are Sthira or Fixed rasis. They take their time to act, do not like change, and have a fixed views and ways of doing things.

Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces forming the 3rd quadrangle are Dwichara or Dual rasis. They are very intelligent and like exploring new ways and theories.

The Grahas or Planets and what they signify

Sun or Surya is a royal planet and the king in astrology. He represents the soul, will power, father, paternal relations, the king or the high officials. Its hot and angry, colour is red, metal is gold and gem is ruby. Sun represents the eastern direction.
The sun stays in each rasi for one month and takes one year to complete the round of the zodiac. Its motion is quite fixed and a lot of Indian festivals are as per the suns entry into the various signs. For example on January 14 it enters Makara and this day is celebrated as Makara Sankranti, On April 13th/14th it enters Mesha and this day is celebrated as Baisakhi. The change in seasons is also linked to the suns entry into various signs and nakshatras. He is the Pitrukaraka or planet connected with father.

Moon or Chandra is also a royal planet and is the queen in astrology. He represents the mind, emotions, sensitivity, the mother, house and domestic comforts, milk, sea and all things connected with the sea, hotel and food industry, textiles and apparels. Its cold and calm, Its color is white, direction north-east, metal is silver and gem is pearl. The moon is the fastest moving of the 9 planets and takes approximately 2-1/2 days to travel a sign. When the sun and moon are in the same rasi it is called Amavasya or new moon day or the 1st day of the dark fortnight. The lunar days or Tithi changes with every 12 degree difference between the sun and the moon. When the sun and the moon are in the exact opposite signs or 180 degrees apart, it is called Poornima or the full moon day or the 1st day of the bright fortnight. He is the Matrukaraka or planet connected with mother.
The sign in which your Moon is placed in the birth chart is called your Janma Rasi. The star constellation in which your Moon is placed is called your Janma Nakshatra.

Mars or Mangala is the commander in astrology. He represents, energy, courage, younger brothers & sisters, armed forces, the police forces, commanders, administrators, men in high position, land, engineering, metals, real estate agents and surgery. Its metal is copper and gem is coral, color is red and direction south.
Mars takes about 45 days to travel one sign. He is the Bhatrukaraka or planet connected with brother.

Mercury or Budha is the prince in astrology. He represents speech, intelligence, maternal uncles, short journeys, medical profession, trade, computers and the web, astrology and knowledge of the shastras, accounts, mathematics, journalism, printing and publishing. Its metal is bronze, gem is emerald, color is green and direction north.
Mercury takes about a month to travel a rasi. It is always within 27 degree distance from the sun from astrological point of view.

Jupiter or Guru is known as the "Devaguru" or the guru of the Gods. He represents higher knowledge, spirituality, priests, temples, teachers, research & scientists, layers & judges, children and knowledge of the sastras and astrology. Its color is yellow, metal gold, gem yellow sapphire and direction north - east. Jupiter takes about one year to travel a sign. He is the Putrakaraka or planet connected with children.

Venus or Shukra is the "Daityaguru" or the guru of the demons. He represents spouse, sex life, kidneys and sex organ, dance, music, arts, gems and jewelers, wines, bars, gambling places, acting, fashion, cosmetics and beauty products. Its metal is silver, gem is diamond, direction is south-east and colour is white.
Venus takes about a month to travel a sign and completes the round of the zodiac in 12 months. From astrological point of view it is always within 48 degrees of the sun. He is the Kalatrakaraka or planet connected with spouse.

Saturn or Shani is the servant in astrology. He represents hard work, sorrow, old men, servants and the lower level workers, people in the iron and steel industry, municipality and drainage works. A well placed Saturn can bestow excellent power, prestige, name and fame and a badly placed Saturn can devastate you. Its metal is iron, color is blue, gem is blue sapphire and direction is west.
Saturn is the slowest moving of the 9 planets and takes approximately 2-1/2 years to transit a sign and completes the round of the zodiac in 30 years. He is the Udyogakaraka or planet connected with profession.

Rahu or Dragons Head or North Node represents, foreigners, foreign countries, foreign travel, engineering and the technical trades, smoke, old men, grand parents, theft, gambling, drinking, nonconformists, the underworld and the bad elements in the society. Its color is black, metal mixed-metal and gem is Gomedh.
Rahu takes approximately 1-1/2 years to travel a sign and hence completes the round of the zodiac in 18 years.

Ketu or Dragons Tail or South Node represents grand parents, technical trades, spiritual inclinations, superstitions and electronics. Its colour is brown and gem is cat's eye.
Ketu is always in the opposite sign to Rahu, i.e., exactly 180 degrees away. Ketu also takes approximately 1-1/2 years to travel a sign and hence completes the round of the zodiac in 18 years.

Each of these 9 planets produce different results, and at times totally opposite results, while placed in the 12 different rasis. Again each has some good results and some bad results in each sign. This is an important aspect of astrology which must be remembered. You will learn about these results later.

While placed at various specific distances from the sun, the planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn become retrograde or appear to move in the backward direction. Sun and moon do not have any retrograde motion. The motion of Rahu and Ketu is always opposite to that of the other planets.

The seven main planets rule the seven days of the week.
Sun rules Sunday.
Moon rules Monday.
Mars rules Tuesday.
Mercury rules Wednesday.
Jupiter rules Thursday.
Venus rules Friday.
Saturn rules Saturday.
Rahu and Ketu do not rule any day
Normally while referring to the qualities etc of the planets, they are referred to in this sequence, i.e., sun to saturn in the week day sequence. Remember this important fact.

  Lesson 2: The Nakshatras or Star constellations.  

First the zodiac was divided into 12 main rasis, to study the effects of the planets placed there. Then the ancient seers added another sub divisional system of breaking down the zodiac into 27 Nakshatras or star constellations. Each nakshatra has a span of 13 degrees and 20 minutes. After that each nakshatra was further subdivided into 4 Padas, or quarters, of 3 degrees and 20 minutes. Hence the first zodiac sign Aries, which has 30 degrees, contains the entire 4 padas (13:20') of the 1st star constellation Ashwini, the entire 4 padas (13:20') of the 2nd star constellation Bharani and the 1st pada (3:20') of the third star constellation Krittika. So each rasi contains total 9 padas. These nakshatras belong to three main groups: Deva or divine, Manusha or human and Rakshasa or Demonic. They have different ruling deities, owned by different planets and have divergent qualities. Hence while studying the effects of a planet placed in Aries, it is also studied in which nakshatra it is placed and in which pada of that nakshatra it is placed. This system of analysis exists only in Indian astrology.

The nakshatra in which your moon is placed at the time of your birth is called your Janma Nakshatra. This janma nakshatra has also got its influence on you.

The following table shows the names of the 27 nakshatras in their zodiacal order. Click on each to know more about their qualities, ruling planets and deities etc.

  Lesson 3:Astronomy and astrology  

It is necessary to have a working idea of how the astrologers scientifically convert the astronomical planetary positions in to astrological charts. The astrological charts are not some kind of mystic mumbo jumbo. They are the actual planetary positions in the space at the time of your birth. It is briefly explained below. All pictures are actual planetary positions as on 1-1-1999, 8:00 AM at New Delhi.

The above picture is how the planets look in the deep sky. The orbits of the planets around the Sun and the constellations are superimposed. The picture below is how we see the planets from the earth, as on 1-1-1999, 8:00 AM at New Delhi.

The picture bellow is a diagrammatic representation of the Earth and the other planets in the space with the zodiac constellations marked, again as on 1-1-1999, 8:00 AM at New Delhi.. From the Earth if we draw an imaginary yellow lines to all the other planets and extend those lines to the zodiac sign behind them, we will end up with the picture below which gives the zodiac positions of the planets as we see them in space. The pictures of the planets used here are satellite pictures.

Follow the yellow lines drawn from the Earth through each planet and to the signs behind each planet and you know in which constellations the various planets are placed. So, when we talk about the planets placed in the various zodiac signs, we mean as we see from the Earth - Saturn at the top is in the sign Aries, Moon is in Gemini, Jupiter in Aquarius, Mercury in Scorpio, Sun in Sagittarius, Venus in Capricorn and Mars in Virgo. Also note that it is the 14th lunar phase in the bright half, very close to full moon, so the sun and the moon are in opposite directions vis-à-vis the earth.

The picture bellow is how the chart of the planets in heaven would be drawn according to Vedic astrology. The only difference is that instead of putting the pictures of the planets, we write their names. The positions of Rahu and ketu are hypothetically calculated.The Ascendant or Lagna at Delhi is Sagittarius. You can learn about how Lagna or Ascendant is calculated from here

The ephemeris, or the Panchang, give the exact degrees, minutes and seconds of the planets and this information is normally give in your birth chart. You can learn more about horoscope casting and the various types of charts in our

  How a horoscope is cast and the four types of chart styles

Before learning about the other aspects of astrology, you must now learn about how a horoscope is cast and how to read it. We are not going into the teaching of the complicated mathematical aspects of calculating the planetary positions, lagna etc. Now a days even the astrologers depend on the computerised software. From the practical point of view of learning the basics, you only need to know how the birth chart is cast and how to read and understand it.

The horoscope is the picture of the heavens at the time of ones birth. It shows in which rasis, or signs, the 9 planets are positioned. It also shows another important aspect of astrology called the Lagna or the Ascendant. It plays a major role in analyzing an individuals life. The ascendant is calculated based on your place and time of birth and varies from place to place. This is because of the difference in latitude and longitude and the sun rise time. Lagna is called your individual 1st house. It must be noted that the lagna may fall in any of the 12 rasis. The counting of your individual houses is always done from the lagna. You will learn about the houses and their importance in the next lesson.

The position of the planets on any given day and time is calculated from the ephemeris, called Panchang, and the horoscopes are made accordingly. It is not some kind of a mystic charting of planetary names in a chart. To get a better understanding of the scientific basis of this

Difference in measuring the planetary positions - Vedic vs. Western astrology
Vedic Astrology follows the Niryana or the sidereal zodiac, where as the Western Astrology follows the Sayana or the tropical zodiac. Its a highly complicated astronomical subject. Briefly the fundamentals are as follows.

The placement and especially the degrees of the planets in the birth chart of a person made according to western astrology differ considerably from the birth chart made according to Indian astrology. According to the western sun signs Sun enters Aries on 21st of March but according to our calculations it enters Aries on the 14th of April. So there is a 24 degrees difference. The Western or SayanaŁ zodiac system makes calculations and predictions based on the present position of the planets from a zodiacal point of view or AS OBSERVED BY THE SATELLITES.
Our system is called "NirayanaŁ or Indian System. In the Nirayana system, the planetary positions are AS SEEN FROM EARTH TODAY by taking into account the tilting of the North pole by making corrections accordingly.
If you take the standard globe available in the market and keep it on the table, you will observe that the North and the south poles are not exactly 90 degrees vertically up but are tilting. This inclination is about 23+ degrees to the east and it greatly effects astronomical calculations. See the picture.

This inclination is caused due to the shifting of the vernal equinox, which happens because of the West to East spin of the earth around its axis. While playing tennis or table tennis, if you give a sideways spin to the ball it not only spins in the direction of the spin but also swerves or swings in the air. Similarly as the earth is spinning towards the east on its axis, the North Pole is slowly tilting towards the east. This difference between the longitudes of the starting points of the sidereal and tropical zodiacs is called Ayanamsha. The starting points of the sidereal and tropical zodiacs coincides once in every 25,800 years approximately. According to accurate scientific calculations, the present shift started in the year 285 AD, i.e. 285 years ago the North Pole was perfectly vertical at 90 degrees. The most accurate method of calculating this ayanamsa is the Chitrapaksha ayanamsa, popularly called Lahiri Ayanamsa.
The ayanamsa calculations of the Greeks like Hippocras and Ptolemy were wrong. The western scientists are officially "credited" with the "discovery" of the accurate shifting of the earths equinox towards the end of the 19th century. They found it to be 50". It was actually known to the Hindu astrologers long before that. Varahamihira, the famous astrologer in the court of Vikramaditya in the year 57BC, clearly mentioned in his work Pancha Siddhantika, based on our ancient Siddhantas, that the ayanamsa is 50.32 seconds. This is the most accurate one.
The difference between the Sayana longitudes and the Nirayana longitudes of Planets is called "Ayanamsa" or precision. This Ayanamsa difference is the exactly calculated shift or inclination of the equinox. For example on this day on 23rd June 08, the exact Ayanamsa or the tilt is 23:58:43 degrees. From the longitude poison of the planets in the Zodiac at this moment, when this Ayanamsa is deducted, we get the correct longitude of the planets as applicable to our position on earth. In the western system as this shift of the equinox is not taken into account, all the planets are about 24 degrees ahead. The picture given bellow will give you an idea.

The position earth shown at the bottom in the picture is with equinox tilted correctly i.e. corrected Ayanamsa. If you are born on the dark spot see the position difference of Sun if Ayanamsa is not corrected. We are more concerned as to where the planet is vis-à-vis our position on earth and not as seen by a satellite! And we definitely dont follow the equinox position of 285AD !!

The four types of charting styles.

In India the astrologers follow different methods of casting a chart. There are mainly four methods of casting the charts. They are explained bellow.

South Indian method: In the south Indian style of casting a chart, the position of the zodiacal signs, from Aries to Pisces always remains fixed, as shown in the picture below left. The counting of the houses and the positioning of the planets is done clockwise, as shown in the picture below right. This changes from individual chart to chart. So it can be said that the south style chart follows the fixed sign method. The sign which becomes the ascendant or lagna is marked with the words As or Asc or Lagna. In some cases astrologers also draw two parallel lines at the top corner of the ascendant, the way we cross a bank cheque, to mark the ascendant

The South Indian Style

The data given in the table to the right below, shows the ascendant and the 9 planets in the 1st column, their exact degrees in the 2nd column, the rasi in which they are placed in the third column, the nakshatra in which they are placed in the 4th column and the nakshatra pada in the last column. The birth chart is made placing the planets in those houses. The positioning of the planets and the ascendant is as follows.

Ascendant or Lagna: In Vrischika or Scorpio

Sun : In Vrishabha or Taurus

Moon: In Kumbha or Aquarius

Mars: In Mithuna or Gemini

Mercury: In Mesha or Aries

Jupiter: In Tula or Libra

Venus: In Mithuna or Gemini

Saturn: In Mesha or Aries

Rahu: In Kumbha or Aquarius

Ketu: In Simha or Leo

Please note:

The sign in which the moon is placed is called Janma Rasi or moon sign. In this case the janma rasi is Kumbha or Aquarius.

The nakshatra in which the moon is placed in the birth chart in called Janma Nakshatra. In this case the janma nakshatra is Satabhistha 1st quarter.

As obvious in this chart the lagna is Vrischika, moon and rahu are in the 4th house counted from lagna, Mercury and Saturn are in the 6th house from lagna, Sun is in the 7th house, Mars and Venus are in the 8th house, Ketu is in the 10th house and Jupiter is in the 12th house.

North Indian Style
North Indian method: In the north Indian method of casting the chart, as in the above example, the ascendant or lagna is always kept at the top center and the signs are denoted by their zodiacal sequence number, i.e., Aries is 1, Taurus is 2, Gemini 3, Cancer 4, Leo 5, Virgo 6, Libra 7, Scorpio 8, Sagittarius 9, Capricorn 10, Aquarius 11 and Pisces 12. Here the charting of the houses and the planets is anti-clockwise. In the above demonstration the same chart with the same planetary positions is shown. The lagna is Vrischika and denoted by the sign number 8 and placed at the top center. The planets are placed in the same houses, but charted in the anti-clockwise fashion. For example sun is in Vrishabha or Taurus which is the zodiac house number 2. So we can say that the northern chart chart follows the fixed house method.

East Indian or Maithili method: This type of chart, which is popular in Andhra Pradesh and parts of Orissa and Bengal, is drawn differently and follows the fixed sign method of the south style chart, but the charting is done anti-clockwise as shown in the picture bellow.

East Indian chart

The circular chart: It is the same as the northern chart in every respect but drawn in a circular fashion as shown below.

Circular chart

Lesson 4 The twelve Bhavas or Houses

An individuals horoscope is divided into 12 Bhavas or houses, based on the position of ones lagna in the chart. The nature and qualities of the rasis, planets and the nakshatras explained so far are their basic inherent qualities. Once a persons chart is analyzed from the lagna point of view, based on the way these planets and rasis are placed from lagna, gives them a personal touch and helps us to understand the various aspects and events of ones life.

The sign in which your lagna or ascendant is placed becomes your 1st house. The sign next to that (clockwise in the south chart and anticlockwise in a north chart), becomes your 2nd house. The one next to that is your 3rd house and so on till the 12th house.

The 1st, 5th, and 9th houses are called Trikonas or trine houses. They are the most powerful and auspicious houses. They are also called Lakshmi sthanas as the rule all kinds of prosperities.

The 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses are called Kendras or quadrants. They are also auspicious and powerful houses next to the konas.
The 3rd and the 11th houses are called Upachayas or houses of growth.
The 6th, 8th, and 12 houses are called Dusthanas or bad houses.

1, 5, and 9 are Dharma houses.
2, 6, and 10 are Artha houses.
3, 7, and 11 are Kama houses.
4, 8, and 12 are Moksha houses.

The 12 houses and what they signify and represent in your life.

The First house or Lagna called Tanu sthana, represents your birth, body looks and soul, personality traits and inclinations, longevity, health, character and nature. It also rules your head the head, longevity, health, character and nature of the native. It is a kendra a trikona and Dharma bhava, and it is at the same time . It is one of the most important and auspicious house in the horoscope.

The Second house called Dhana sthana, represents your wealth, speech, family, face, right eye, mouth and the food you eat and charity and death.
The Third house called Bhatru sthana represents your younger brothers and sisters, courage, servants and subordinates, communications, talents and skills, sports, business, short distance travels.
The Fourth bhava called Matru sthana, represents mother, home, relatives, office or factory, emotions, domestic and house related happiness, landed property and conveyances, education mental peace and chest and lungs.
The Fifth house called Putra sthana, represents children, education and intellect, creativity, mantra, tantra and pooja.
The Sixth house called Shatru sthana, represents health, illness, injuries, loans, sports, maternal uncle, enemies and opposition.

The Seventh house called Kalatra sthana, represents spouse, sex life, reproduction and genital organs, partners, enjoyments and Kundalini shakti and death.

The Eight house called Ayu sthana, represents destruction, accidents, physical pains, inheritance, legacies, death and insurance.

The Ninth house called bhagya sthana, represents luck, prosperity, guru, father, religious and spiritual progress and knowledge of the scriptures, sadhana, pilgrimages, foreign travel and foreign trade, grandchildren.

The Tenth house represents your profession, business, authority and power and honours and achievements.
The Eleventh house represents gains and income, good news, money, elder brothers and sisters, friends, long distance travels, air lines and entertainment.
The Twelfth house represents losses, waste, expenses, foreign countries, imprisonment, death, sadhana and Moksha or final liberation.

Each of the 9 different planets, while placed in the 12 different houses, produce different, and at times totally opposite results. Again each of them produce some good results and some bad results. Remember this important fact.

As there are 12 houses and only 9 planets, there will always be some vacant houses. In most horoscopes there are more than one planet in a house. The lords of the rasis as mentioned earlier in lesson 1, i.e., Mars for Aries, Venus for Taurus etc., become the lords of your houses falling in those rasis. Which house lord is placed in which house is a very important factor. Again each house lord placed in the other houses has some good results and some bad. Again because of the dual ownership rasis by planets, a planet placed in a particular house as lord of one house may be good, but bad as lord of the other house.

This is the third important parameter to remember.

Let us see the example horoscope to make things clear.

Remember the house counting is done from the lagna, which is the 1st house.

South Indian - Count clockwise North Indian - Count anti-clockwise

In this horoscope:

The lagna or the 1st house falls in Vrischika rasi or Scorpio. Scorpio is owned by Mars. So the lagna lord is mars. He is placed in Gemini, the 8th house counted from lagna.( the counting starts from lagna)

The 2nd house is Dhanu or Sagittarius, its owner is jupiter. So the 2nd lord is placed in Libra, the 12th house from lagna.

The 3rd house is Makara or Capricorn, owned by saturn, who is placed in Aries, the sixth house.

The 4th house is Kumbha or Aquarius, owned by saturn, who is placed in Aries, the sixth house.

The 5th house is Meena or Pisces, owned by jupiter, who is placed in the 12th house.

The 6th house is Mesha or Aries, whose lord mars is in the 8th house. You may interested to note that mars as the important lagna lord placed in the 8th house is bad and inauspicious, but in the 2nd case as the owner of a bad 6th house placed in another bad 8th house, he very good and auspicious.

The 7th house is Vrishabha or Taurus, whose lord venus is placed in the 8th house.

The 8th house is Mithuna or Gemini, whose lord is placed in the 6th house. (This is good)

The 9th house is Karka or Cancer, whose lord moon is in the 4th house.

The 10th house is Simha or Leo and the lord sun is in the 7th house.

The 11th house is Kanya or Virgo and the lord is in the 6th house. (This is bad)

The 12th house lord Venus placed in the 8th house.( Again note venus as the bad 12th lord in the bad 8th house is good, but as the important 7th lord in the bad 8th he is bad)

For every lagna some planets are benific, some are malefic and some are neutral. Again how they are placed in the chart is a very important point to be considered. however the following are the basic thumb rules:

Lords of 1,5,9 houses are always benefics.
Lords of 4, 7, 10 houses if placed in auspicious houses produce good results.
Lords of 6, 8, 12 house if placed in 6, 8, or 12 houses produce good results but are bad if placed in the good houses.
2nd and 11th lords are better placed in the auspicious houses.

When two or more planets are placed in a house, it is called the conjunction of planets. The results of these conjunctions of planets will depend on whether they are benefics or malefics from the lagna point of view. The conjunction of the Kendra lords or the Kona lords or the Kendra or Kona lords is highly auspicious. These are called Raja yoga combinations. The Raja yoga combinations give rise to authority, power, position and wealth. However, if a dusthana lord. i.e., 6th, 8th or 12th lord joins them it spoils the rajayogas.

When two planets exchange houses, i.e., let us say Mars is in Venus house and Venus in in Mars house, it is called Parivartana Yoga or Exchange Yoga. The Parivartana Yoga is a very powerful one. The Parivartana Yoga becomes auspicious if the exchange is between two auspicious houses, i.e., between the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th houses. Similarly if two dusthana lords, i.e., 6th, 8th and 12th, exchange houses then also it is auspicious. However, if a benefic house lord exchanges houses with a malefic house lord, like 9th lord with the 12th lord, then the exchange is inauspicious.

Similarly if exalted planets are placed in Kendras etc. it again causes Rajayogas. There are several hundred raja yoga combinations mentioned in the Shastras.

Lesson:5 Further analysis and the Varga charts

There are several other points which are of importance while analyzing a chart. According to the Rishi Parashara, analyzing the horoscope from Lagna, Chandra Lagna and Soorya Lagna is important to arrive at the correct conclusions.
Chandra Lagna
The sign in which the Moon is placed in the birth chart, called Janma Rasi, is a very important parameter while judging a horoscope. It is used as another lagna. Just as you study the placement of planets from the lagna, the way the planets are placed from the moon is also studied to give an additional view.

If you don't know your Rasi click here to use onsite instant calculator

Soorya Lagna

The house in which your Sun is placed is called the Soorya Lagna and this is studied the way lagna and Chandra lagna are studied.

Churning from houses

Churning the houses is a unique way of analyzing several aspects of life. For example your wife wants to know about her younger sister but hasn't got the horoscope details. This can be seen from your horoscope. In your chart the 7th is your wife's house. From there the 3rd is the house of her younger sister, i.e., the 9th house in your chart, is your wife's younger sisters house. By studying your chart by taking your 9th house as lagna, you can infer about your wife's younger sister. Alternately, this can be studied from your wife's chart also by taking 3rd house as lagna. Similarly from your chart your child's wife can be seen - your 5th is your child's house and from there the 7th indicates his wife.
Varga Charts
The Varga charts, also known as the divisional charts, are a unique method employed by the ancient seers to study various aspects of life. Each rasi of 30 degrees is further subdivided and by employing a series rules new additional charts are made. There are 16 divisional charts and they are studied to analyze the finer conditions, strengths and effects of the planets. These charts are also employed to study certain specific aspects of life like spouse, children, parents etc. The following are the varga divisions.


1. Rashi or the Lagna chart as it is of 30┬║ to study all aspects of life.
2. Hora or one-half of a sign -15┬║ is the varga to study wealth.
3. Drekkana or one-third of a sign - 10┬║ is the varga to study siblings.
4. Chaturthamsha or one-fourth of a sign - 7┬║30' is the varga to study destiny and house.
5. Saptamsha or one-seventh of a sign - 4┬║17`8.5" is the varga to study progeny.
6. Navamsha or one-ninth of a sign - 3┬║20' is the varga for spouse and many other things.
7. Dashamsha or one-tenth of a sign - 3┬║- is the varga to study ones profession.
8. Dwadashamsha or one-twelfth of a sign -2┬║30'- is the varga to study parents.
9. Shodashamsha or one-sixteenth of a sign -1┬║52'30"- is the varga to study conveyance.
10. Vimshamsha or one-twentieth of a sign -1┬║30'- is the varga to study spiritual progress.
11. Chaturvimshamsha or one-twenty fourth of a sign -1┬║15'- is to study knowledge.
12. Saptavimshamsha or one-twenty seventh of a sign -1┬║6'40"- is to study the strength.
13. Trimshamsha or one-thirtieth of a sign - 1┬║00'- is misfortunes and nature.
14. Khavedamsha or one-fortieth of a sign - 0┬║45' is for auspicious & inauspicious effects.
15. Akshavedamsha or one-forty fifth of a sign 0┬║40' is for all areas of life.
16.Shashtyamsha or one-sixtieth of a sign 0┬║30' is for all general effects.

For each of these vargas, The details of the different effects produced by the 9 different planets placed in various rasis, houses, house lords etc are given in detail in the shastras.
Of these the Navamsha is the most important varga. Apart from studying the spouse and married/sex life, it is also studied to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses and the effects of the planets with respect to all areas of life. If a planet is badly placed in the lagna chart but improves its position in the navamsa, then the negative effects are reduced and vise versa. This is where the Vedic Astrology scores heavily over all other systems of Astrology. For example, moon, the fastest moving of the nine planets, remains in one sign fro two and half days. The ascendant, or Lagna, extends for a period of two hours. In these two hours, according to the present birth rate, several thousand people are born in the world with the same birth chart! All of them cannot have the same destiny. Apart from that it must be remembered that the slow moving planet like Jupiter stays in a sigh for 1 year and Saturn stays in a sign for 2-1/2 years. In Indian Astrology by preparing the 16 Varga charts based on their exact degrees, it is possible to see the difference in the results of various individuals correctly.

One must have very accurate birth time for the finer varga divisions to give accurate results. Realizing this Parashara prescribed that one must study at least the Shad-Vargas and if possible the Sapta-Vargas. The lagna, hora, drekkana, navamsa, dwadasamsa and trimamsa comprise of the 6 shad-vargas. If you add saptamamsa to these it is the saptavargas. Some recommend the study of the dasa-vargas by adding dasamamsa, shodasamsa and shasthimamsa.

The Amsas of planets: A planet which occupying the same rasi in the natal chart and also in the navamsha chart is said to be in Vargottama-amsa and this enhances its benific effects of the planets. A planet becoming vargottama is a very important condition while evaluating the strengths and effects of the planet and the houses it rules. Similarly a planet occupying the same rasi 3, 4, 5, or more times in the 16vargas is said to be in Simhasanamsa, Parijatamsa, Vaishesikamsa, Devalokamsa, Brahmalokamsa etc., and the benific effects of such conditions for the planets are give in detail to apply and evaluate their results.

The placement of planets in the various vargas is also useful to evaluate the strength and effects of the various planets and houses. This is called the Vimsopaka Bala.

The 16 vargas also play a role in evaluating the other strengths and conditions of the planets.

Lessons:6 Planetary Friendship
Naisargika Mitra or Natural Friend: Based on their natural qualities the planets have some friends, enemies and neutrals. Note the Rasis, which are the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 12th from the Moolatrikona of a Graha. The Grahas ruling such Rasis are its friends, apart from the Lord of its exaltation Rasi. Lords other than these are its enemies. If a Graha becomes its friend in one and enemy in the other, then it is neutral, or equal.The following chart illustrates this inter-planetary friendship.

Tatkalika Mitra or Temporary Friend: Depending on how the planets are placed in a particular chart, there is a temporary friendship between the planets. The rule for this temporary friendship is: in a chart, a planet placed in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th and 12th from another planet becomes its temporary friend. The following chart illustrates the temporary friendship of the planets in our example horoscope.

Panchadha or Compound friendship: This is simply the combination of the two types of friendship to arrive at an overview of friendship. The 5 point formula is:

Friend + Friend = Great Friend

Friend + Neutral = Friend

Friend + Enemy = Neutral

Enemy + Neutral = Enemy

Enemy + Enemy = Great Enemy

See the following chart of compound friendship for the example horoscope.

Various strengths and conditions of the planets

We have seen in lesson 1 that the planets own certain houses. Lets go a step deeper into the vast ocean and see the other conditions.

Uccha, Moola Trikona, Swasthana, and Neecha of planets.

When placed in certain houses the planets are said to be in Uccha or in exaltation. A planet is in the best condition when he is exalted. The next best placement is called Moolatrikona, followed by its Swasthana or own house, followed by Mitrasthana or friends house and the worst condition is Neecha or Debilitation. The following are the placement conditions of the planets.

Sun is exalted in Aries upto the 10th degree. In the 10th degree he is in deep exaltation. After that it is his Moolatrikona. In Leo upto 20 is his moolatrikona and after that it is his own house.

Moon is exalted in Taurus upto the 3rd degree. In the 3rd degree he is in deep exaltation and after that it is his moolatrikona house. Karka is his own house.

Mars is exalted in Makara upto 28 degrees. In the 28th degree he is in deep exaltation. After that it is his Moolatrikona. In Mesha upto 12 degrees his moolatrikona and after that it is his own house. Vrischika is also his own house.

Mercury is exalted in Kanya upto 15 degrees. In the 15th degree he is in deep exaltation. After that the next 5 degrees are his Moolatrikona and after that his own house. Mithuna is also his own house.

Jupiter is exalted in Karka upto 5 degrees. In the 5th degree he is in deep exaltation. After that it is his Moolatrikona. In Dhanu upto 10 degrees his moolatrikona and after that it is his own house. Meena is also his own house.

Venus is exalted in Meena upto 27 degrees. In the 27th degree he is in deep exaltation. After that it is his Moolatrikona. In Libra upto 15 degrees his moolatrikona and after that it is his own house. Vrishabha is also his own house.

Saturn is exalted in Tula upto 20 degrees. In the 20th degree he is in deep exaltation. After that it is his Moolatrikona. In Kumbha upto 20 degrees his moolatrikona and after that it is his own house. Makara is also his own house.

Rahu and Ketu There is a controversy about their exaltation etc as they do not really own any houses. In fact the were ignored in this regard in some of the major shastras. However several other later generation authors generally agreed that Mithuna and Dhanu are the exaltation houses of Rahu and Ketu respectively, Vrishabha and Vrischika are their respective Moolatrikonas and Meena and Kanya are their respective own houses.

Neecha or Debilitation: All exalted planets get debilitated in the opposite seventh house from their point of exaltation. The highest point of debilitation is the exact opposite of the highest point of exaltation. After that the debilitation effect is not there.

It must also be noted that in the order of auspicious placement, next to his own house, comes a planet placed in a friend's house and then the neutrals house.
Lesson : 7 Malefic and Benefic
According to their basic qualities, the planets are categorized into two groups. Natural malefics and natural benefics.
Moon, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus are Natural Benefics.
Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu are Natural Malefics.
However this is a highly broad general division and gets vastly modified based on the planets placement, house ownership etc.

Vakra or Retrograde planets:

As explained earlier, except the Sun and the Moon the rest of the planets, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn change their proper motion through the Zodiac periodically and appear to move backwards. After some time they resume their direct motion. When a planet is retrograde it is marked in the horoscope with the mark 'R'. A retrograde planet becomes more powerful. It also gives some unusual results and sometimes in the reverse order in the timing of effects etc.

Dagdha or Combust Planets

When a planet comes close to the Sun it engulfed by the Sun's rays. This is called combustion. A combust planet loses its power. This does not apply to Rahu & Ketu. The degree of proximity at which planets become combust varies from planet to planet. The following are the planetary combustion details as per the Soorya Siddhanta.

Mars within 17 Degrees

Mercury within 12 Degrees while retrograde and 14 degrees while in normal motion.

Jupiter within 11 Degrees

Venus within 8 Degrees

Saturn within 15 Degrees

It is normally agreed that the planetary combustion effects are effective when they are in the same nakshatra pada with the sun. After that the effects are not severe.

Drishti or Aspects

All planets have drishti or aspects. Or to put it in simpler terms they "look" at other planets and signs. All planets aspect the sign or planet placed exactly opposite to them, i.e., in the 7th house from them. This is normally called the 7th house aspect, or the full aspect. Apart from this 7th aspect, some planets have "special" aspects.

Mars aspects the 4th and the 8th houses from its position.
Jupiter aspects the 5th and the 9th houses from its position.
Saturn aspects the 3rd and the 10th houses from its position.
Rahu and Ketu aspect the 5th and the 9th houses from their position though this is somewhat controversial.
The houses and the planets aspected by a planet get influenced by the planet. The effect will be good or bad depending on the nature, condition, lordship etc of the aspecting planet and also on the relation between the two planets.

The Avasthas or condition of Planets

Depending on their position in the chart and the other conditions, Indian astrology classifies the condition of the planets into 5 different sets of avasthas. they are:

1. Jagradadi Avasthas - set of 3 avasthas

2. Baladi Avasthas - set of 5 avasthas

3. Lajjitadi Avasthas - set of 6 avasthas

4. Deeptadi Avasthas - set of 9 avasthas

5. Shayanadi Avasthas -set of 12 avasthas

It is a very detailed and complicated study. How a planet is placed in each of the 5 types of sets of avasthas is studied. Based on that the results given by each planet for each type of the sets of avasthas is taken into consideration while giving predictions.
The Shadbala or Six fold strength of Planets

This is a very important study of the planetary strengths and weaknesses. It is not the study of any one condition of the planets, but a summarized study of its several conditions - both separately and in totality. The six fold strengths and weaknesses evaluated are:

1. Sthana bala

2. Dik bala

3. Kala bala

4. Chestha bala

5. Naisargika bala

6. Drik bala

It must be noted that in each of these six types of sources of strengths, there are several sub divisional aspects included. For example sthana bala is calculated after studying 6 different balas!!

Once again the strengths and weakness of all 9 planets in all the 6 fold strengths, and their sub divisional balas are studied to see their effects!!
Lesson:8 The Ashtakavarga
The asthakavargas is a unique way of dividing each of the 12 rasis into eight sub divisions, based on the influence of the lagna and the 7 main planets on these 12 rasis. Rahu & Ketu are omitted in asthakavargas. Based on their individual positions in a horoscope, the lagna and the 7 main planets, contribute certain positive and negative influences on the 12 signs of the horoscope. These influences are called bindus and rekhas, which are positive and negative points. There is a confusion and controversy between South Indians and North Indians about the bindus and rekhas and which of them is benific and malefic. So lets simply call them positive points and negative points to avoid confusion.

For AV purpose each rasi is divided into 8 parts called Kakshas. Each kaksha has a span of 3:45'. The 1st kaksha of each rasi is ruled by saturn, the 2nd by jupiter, 3rd by mars, 4th by sun, 5th by venus, 6th by mercury, the 7th by moon and the 8th by the lagna. Mainly 3 types of Ashtakavarga charts are used to study the effects of the planets

The 1st type are the Bhinnashtakavarga charts, prepared for the lagna and the 7 planets - total 8 charts are made. In the picture above we have given the Bhinnashtakavarga chart of sun - to the left side. The rasis are marked horizontally by the respective rasi numbers, i.e., 1 for Aries, 2 for Taurus etc. The 8 Kakshas are to be seen vertically. A Bhinnashtakavarga kaksha of any rasi can contain only one point. If a positive point is contributed by any planet in a kaksha it is marked by 1, if a negative one then by 0. So we can see that in the chart of the Bhinnashtakavarga of sun, in the sign Aries (under 1), saturn has contributed a positive point in the first kaksha, jupiter has contributed a negative point in the 2nd kaksha and so on. The total positive points contributed in Aries are 4. We can see the other signs similarly. The Bhinnashtakavarga charts of planets are very useful to study the transit effects of planets. For example sun transits a rasi for one month. But the results he gives are not uniform throughout the month. He produces good results while transiting the Kakshas where there is a positive point and if negative point is there he gives bad results. In this case while transiting the 1st kaksha of Aries, from 0 degrees to 3:45', he gives good results as saturn has contributed a positive point there. In the next kaksha, from 3:45 to 7:30', where there is a negative point contributed by jupiter, he gives bad results. As Aries has 4 positive and 4 negative points in suns BAV chart, suns transit results in Aries for the native of this chart are 50% good and 50% bad. When the sun transits Libra for one month its results are very bad as it has only 2 positive points. Suns transit of Sagittarius is the best with 6 PP. So a rasi with 4 good points gives medium results, better with more and worse with less.

The good or bad effects will have a relation with the planet contributing the point, either positive or negative. They will have a link to its nature, house ownership etc.

In similar fashion with the help of the BAV charts of the other planets we can study their transit effects.

The sarvasthakavarga chart, to the right of suns BAV chart, is the combined detailed summary of how many positive points each of the 7 planets and lagna are contributing in all the rasis.

The Samudaya Ashtakavarga chart bellow gives a brief at a glance idea of how many total good points are there in each house. Houses with 25 or more produce good results when planets transit them. If the points are below 25 then the results are negative.

Ashtakavarga has many more applications. While analyzing the effects of a house, by studying how many total good and bad points are there, contributed by which planets, etc give several clues about the house effects. While studying the effects of a planet placed in a particular house, by studying in how many degrees he is placed in that house and in which planets kaksha, the points contributed by the planets in the kaksha, give us us predictive clues as to the planets nature results etc. Ashtakavarga is also employed to study longevity of a native by doing several complicated mathematical calculations and by doing trikona reductions etc. Even for those who know astrology, the Ashtakavarga is an advanced application.
Lesson 9 The timing of the events
After analyzing the strengths and conditions etc of the planets, one is in a position to know what kind of results they are going to give. But when the results are going to fructify can be learnt only by studying the dasas and the transits of the planets.

The dasas are the ruling periods of planets. There are more than 50 different types of Dasha systems, but the most popular and accurate one is the Vimshottari Dasha system. We are explaining this system.

At the time of your birth, the star constellation in which your moon is placed in your birth chart, and the degrees in which it is placed, determines which dasas will be in operation during your life. The following chart illustrates, as per your nakshatra, the dasa with which your life starts, the span of each dasa and the sequence of dasas.

The period and the sequence of each Dasas is as follows:

Sun Dasha is 6 years
Moon Dasha is 10 years
Mars Dasha is 7 years
Rahu Dasha is 18 years
Jupiter Dasha is 16 years
Saturn Dasha is 19 years
Mercury Dasha is 17 years
Ketu Dasha is 7 years

Venus Dasha is 20 years

These are called Mahadasas
As the Vimshottari dasa follows a 120 year cycle one will not experience the mahadasa of all the planets in ones life. Depending on by how many degrees, moon has traveled in the nakshatra at the time of birth, the first dasa gets reduced proportionately. In every mahadasa of a planet there are sub divisional dasas of other planets called Antardasas. The first antardasa is that of the mahadasa planet, followed by the other planets in sequence. Following the same principle, the antardasas are further sub divided into Pratyantardasas and so on till we can arrive at the dasas at a daily basis or even hourly basis. The chart of the dasas of the example horoscope, given here to the left illustrates this.

The predictions and the timing of events is done by taking into account the planets involved in the dasa, the antardasa, pratyantardasa etc., their strengths, nature etc. as studied before. The following principles are kept in mind while analyzing a horoscope for dasa effects.

Let us say that we want to see when the native will get a house. The 4th house rules the house and property related matters. Hence examine the 4th lord, in whose house he is placed, with whom he is placed, who is aspecting him. Then examine the planets placed in the 4th house or the planets aspecting the 4th house. Then the placement of the above in the Vargas, their strengths etc and whether well placed in houses or not and whether involved in any raja yoga combinations etc. When the native is going through the dasa or antardasas of any of these favorably placed planets, good results for the house can be expected.

However the timing of event cannot be done only on the basis of dasa. The Gochara or the transit of planets must also be studied. Some times in spite of favourable results, if the Gochara is very adverse then the favourable results may not take place and vice versa.
Lesson 10

Prashna or Horary Astrology

The Prashna branch is another unique division of Vedic Astrology. When a person asks a question to an astrologer, based on the time at which the question is asked, a horoscope is made for that time and date. With the help of this chart the astrologer predicts about the events that are going to take place. There are several types of Prashna systems and it is almost a separate science by itself. Normally the Prashna chart is studied along with the birth chart to give an additional dimension to predict the results correctly.

Gochara or Transits
The Gochara or the constant transits of the planets in the zodiac is the other instrument used by the astrologers to time an event. The position of the planets in your birth chart is fixed. These planetary placement and the dasas you are going through as per your birth chart give you one set of parameters to judge the events. At the same time the planets in heaven are constantly on the move. At any given time how these planets are positioned vis-à-vis the 12 houses and the 9 planets in your chart also has a major bearing on your destiny. It is said that the natal chart and the dasas are what you have inherited from your past and the gochara is the interplay of the present with your past. The 1st, and the most important study of the positions of the 9 planets transiting in the zodiac, is done from the janma rasi or the position of the moon in ones natal chart. After that their positions from all other planets, houses etc of ones birth chart. Based on these positions, the gochara shastras give the detailed results.

Let me explain this with the help of the example chart and the Gochara planetary position chart as on today, 16-4-03.

For the native of this chart as shown in the picture above, the gochara planetary positions as shown in the charts below, is as follows.

His Janma rasi, or the sign in which his moon is positioned in the birth chart (above), is kumbha or Aquarius. In the gochara chart (below) sun is positioned in Aries or Mesha. Hence counted from his Janma rasi, sun is in the third house in gochara. Similarly mercury is also in the 3rd from his natal moon. Rahu is in the 4th from moon, saturn in the 5th, jupiter in the 6th, moon in the 8th, Ketu in the 10th, mars in the 12th and venus is in the Janma rasi. Similarly note the positions of these planets from his lagna, i.e., sun and mercury in the 6th etc. Similarly the positions of the 9 gochara planets from the natal position of sun, then mars, then mercury etc. etc.

The effects produced by the 9 transiting planets, placed in various houses from the 9 natal planets and lagna (Total 10x 9x12=1080 only) are given in the Gochara shastras.

To know the Gochara/transit results of planets click here

You just have to remember and recollect them and apply the relevant ones. While doing this simple task, you must also see their transit effects as per asthakavargas (12x8x9=864rules). Then also remember the strengths, weaknesses and effects of these planets, and the dasa, antardasa and pratyantardasa effects - based on lagna & 16 Vargas placements, shadbalas, different rasi & house placements, avasthas etc. of the 9 planets and lagna. After that you just have to synthesize, summarize and analyze these 25000 appx permutations and combinations, and then study the results as per Prashna also to arrive at what is going to happen!!! God bless you.

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